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MMA Twitter Mailbag: Kimo Leopoldo Dead? UFC vs. Boxing?

Our latest MMA twitter mailbag ventures into the never-ending discussion of whether MMA and boxing are competitors, but we start with the bizarre hoax about former UFC star Kimo Leopoldo dying.

MMAUSA: Are you surprised so many media outlets fell for the Kimo Leopoldo hoax? Or is that just what the media is these days?

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this one. Based on what we know right now, the story started with this post at The Underground, claiming that Kimo Leopoldo died of a heart attack in Costa Rica. The story was picked up by a couple of Web sites, and Kimo Leopoldo dead became a popular search term in Google. Eventually, news outlets including TMZ, the New York Daily News, the Orange County Register and the TV station KTLA picked up the story as well.

But through it all, no one seemed to have any real confirmation: No one close to Kimo was coming forward to say he had died, but no one was coming forward to say they had seen him alive, either. The first definitive report I saw from a source I trusted was this post from Kevin Iole's Twitter page, saying, "Kimo Leopoldo is NOT DEAD, I've been told by his attorney."

We still have no idea, though, where Kimo is and what he's been doing all day. If people were spreading a rumor that I had died, I'd be calling up everyone I know to say the rumor is false. Kimo hasn't been doing that; people who know him have said they haven't heard from him today.

But as to the question of whether I was surprised, I'd have to say yes, I was. TMZ broke the story of Michael Jackson's death, so I figured they had a pretty good system in place for verifying such things, but I guess that system broke down. And I'm surprised reputable newspapers would pass along a story like that without any confirmation, but I guess the web traffic from getting "Kimo Leopoldo dead" into a headline was too good to pass up. So yes, that's what the media is these days: We get some irresponsible reporting in the rush to be first, but we also have good reporters like Iole using new tools like Twitter to correct the record. You take the good with the bad.

mdetura: Now that Pacquiao/Cotto is official for 11/14, do you expect UFC 105 to air ahead of it (live) on Spike... or against it?

As you note, Manny Pacquiao will fight Miguel Cotto on November 14 in Las Vegas, the same day that UFC 105 is scheduled for Manchester, England. I think the UFC will air UFC 105 on tape delay at night on Spike, and go head-to-head with the live boxing match on pay-per-view.

That's what the UFC did on February 21, when UFC 95 took place in England and a boxing show featuring co-main events of Miguel Cotto vs. Michael Jenning and Kelly Pavlik vs. Marco Antonio Rubio took place on pay-per-view. I really don't think the UFC views boxing pay-per-view shows as much competition, and I think they more or less put on the cards they want whether or not there's boxing the same night.

It's also worth pointing out that UFC 103 is going head-to-head with Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19, and both are expected to air live on pay-per-view. I assume Mayweather-Marquez will get more pay-per-view buys than the relatively weak UFC 103 card, but if it's even close, that would be yet another strong sign that the UFC has knocked out Golden Boy Promotions in the fight to be the leading promoter of pay-per-view sports.

Want to be part of our next UFC Twitter mailbag? Post a question or comment on Twitter, and be sure to start it with @MichaelDavSmith.